What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

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What is optical character recognition (OCR) technology software?

Optical character recognition (OCR) technology software is a business solution for automating data extraction from printed or written text from a scanned document or image file and then converting the text into a machine-readable form to be used for data processing like editing or searching.

OCR solutions improve information accessibility for users

A common application of OCR is the automated conversion of an image based PDF, TIFF or JPG into a text based machine-readable file. OCR-processed digital files, such as receipts, contracts, invoices, financial statements and more, can be:

  • Searched from a large repository to find the correct document
  • Viewed, with search capability within each document
  • Edited, when corrections need to be made
  • Repurposed, with extracted text sent to other systems

How automated OCR for data entry benefits business operations and workflows

Businesses that employ OCR to convert images and PDFs (typically originating as scanned paper documents) save time and resources that would otherwise be necessary to manage unsearchable data. Once transferred, OCR-processed textual information can be used by businesses more easily and quickly.

The benefits of an OCR solution to businesses include:

  • Elimination of manual data entry
  • Resource savings, process more data faster and with fewer resources
  • Error reductions
  • Reallocation of physical storage space
  • Improved productivity

The value and breadth of data classification and  capture solutions

OCR functionality, the ability to extract machine-printed text from a digital image, is only one aspect of a data capture solution. Data can be extracted from documents in many different formats—hand printed text (ICR), check boxes (OMR), bar codes, etc.

Robust data capture solutions handle multiple document formats and can be used with both electronic and paper documents, eliminating paper and reducing manual identification and data entry of document content into other systems.

By employing OCR technology within a data capture solution, businesses can:  

  • Reduce costs
  • Accelerate processes
  • Automate document routing and content processing
  • Centralise and secure data (no fires, break-ins, or documents lost in the back vaults)
  • Improve service by ensuring employees have the most up-to-date, accurate information when they need it

To learn more about data capture and OCR solutions, click here.